Buying Guide: 10 best gaming laptops 2016: top gaming notebooks reviewed

Gaming laptops we recommend

Updated: We’ve added the Gigabyte P35X v5 to our list of the best gaming laptops money can buy.

You don’t even need to tell us what happened when you told your friends that you want to buy a gaming laptop. Their inner elitist got the best of them, and bashed you for not just building an outright gaming desktop. But we get you. Building a gaming PC takes knowledge and dexterity that you just don’t have or care to develop.

That’s where the gaming laptop shines, as a fast lane to PC gaming. No need to build a case or even buy a monitor. Of course, that convenience usually comes with a hefty price tag. Most vendors start their asking prices at around $1,400 (about £900, AU$1,900) for 13 and 14-inch products, whereas the biggest and beefiest 17 and 18-inch models can skyrocket upwards of $3,000 (around £1,900, AU$4,000).

If you’re ready to accept that a gaming laptop will almost never be as affordable or offer the same level of performance as a comparably-priced gaming desktop, then your decision is already made. But again, the gaming notebook is a device of convenience and portability over raw power. Without further ado, here are our favorite gaming laptops that we’ve reviewed thus far.

Best Gaming Laptops

1. Origin EON15-X

A desktop-grade CPU in an unbeatable gaming laptop

CPU: 4GHz Intel Core i7-4790K | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M (8GB GDDR5 RAM), Intel HD Graphics 4600 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 LED Backlit Matte Display | Storage: 240GB SSD; 1TB HDD (5,400 rpm) | Connectivity: Intel PRO Wireless AC 7265 + Bluetooth Wireless LAN Combo | Camera: 2MP Video Camera | Weight: 7.5 pounds | Dimensions: 15.2 x 10.31 x 1.40 inches (W x D x H)

See more Origin EON15-X deals

Great value Desktop-grade performance Razor thin viewing angles

Origin EON15-X is a real head turner. It packs a desktop processor into a fairly compact 15.6-inch laptop that, while smaller, offers even more performance compared to other, bigger hardcore gaming rigs. This extra CPU power is handy for users who need to edit video and other processor intensive tasks that a mobile chip can’t handle. You’ll also get an extra kick of performance in no matter what game you’re running. This machine is definitely worth consideration over all others.

Best Gaming Laptops

2. Gigabyte P35X v5

Underneath the plain exterior lies a 4K gaming beast

CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M 8GB GDDR5, Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 SDRAM | Screen: 15.6-inch, UHD 3,840 x 2,160, IPS LCD | Storage: 256GB SSD, 1TB HDD | Optical drive: 6X Blu-Ray Writer/DVD-RW | Connectivity: Intel Wireless-AC 7260; Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 1.3MP HD webcam | Weight: 5.29 pounds | Dimensions: 15.16 x 10.63 x 0.83 inches

See more Gigabyte P35X v5 deals

Splendid performance at 4K Surprisingly decent battery life Poor ergonomics Pointless optical drive

The Gigabyte P35X v5 is a mighty powerful, 4K gaming laptop equipped. While most machines have failed to play games at Ultra HD resolutions, this 15-inch rig has come closest to making it a reality with speed Intel Core i7 processor and an Nvidia GTX 980M stacked with the maximum amount of video memory on a mobile GPU. All of this overwhelming power will see that you’re able to play 4K games at a decent 30 to 60 fps clip. All the while, the P35X v5 offers decent battery life to boot.

best gaming laptops

3. MSI GT80 Titan

An outrageously sized and powerful gaming laptop

CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-4720HQ | Graphics: 2 x Nvidia GTX 980M SLI (16 GB GDDR5); Intel HD Graphics 4600 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 18.4-inch WLED FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-Glare Display | Storage: 256GB SSD; 1TB HDD (7,200 RPM) | Optical drive: Blu-Ray Burner | Connectivity: Killer DoubleShot Pro 11ac + Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: Full HD type (30 fps, 1080p) | Weight: 9.9 pounds | Dimensions: 17.95 x 13.02 x 1.93 inches

See more MSI GT80 Titan deals

Authentic mechanical keyboard Easily upgraded H-E-A-V-Y Impossible to use on your lap

The MSI GT80 Titan goes above and beyond to give gamers a desktop experience in a notebook with a complement of high-performance parts to a built-in mechanical keyboard. However, weighing in at nearly 10 pounds and measuring roughly two-inches thick, this laptop is seriously pushing the limits of what you can call portable. For all the strain it’ll put on your back and wallet, though, this 18.4-inch gaming laptop absolutely plow through almost any graphically intense game you try to run. This gaming behemoth proved to be a monster with the best in class mobile GPUs so we can’t even fathom what it could do with a Nvidia GTX 980.

Best gaming laptops

4. HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook

Gear up on a budget

CPU: 2.6Ghz Intel Core i7-6700HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 950M (4GB DDR3L VRAM), Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS display | Storage: 1TB HDD | Connectivity: 802.11ac (1 x 1) and Bluetooth 4.0 combo | Camera: HP TrueVision HD webcam | Weight: 5.11 pounds | Dimensions: 15.2 x 10.4 1.13 inches

See more HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook deals

Excellent value Gaming power Not entirely future-proof

If you’re looking to jump into PC gaming on a budget, the HP Pavilion Gaming Notebook offers a Intel Core i7 and discrete graphics without breaking the bank. While that might not sound like a lot to work with, you’ll be able to play games at 30fps on Ultra. Going with a Nvidia GTX 960M configuration will also grant you enough power to hit the 60fps holy grail in almost any game so long as you knock your settings a peg or two below Ultra.


5. Alienware 17 (2015)

The Alienware 17 is an impressive refinement for this series of gaming laptops

CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-4710HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M (4GB GDDR5 RAM), Intel HD Graphics 4600 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 17.3 inch, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS anti-glare display | Storage: 256 GB M.2 SATA SSD + 1TB HDD (7,200 rpm) | Connectivity: Killer 1525 802.11ac 2×2 WiFi + Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 2MP Full HD webcam | Weight: 8.33 pounds (3.78 kg) | Dimensions: 16.93 x 11.49 x 1.35 inches (W x D x H

See more Alienware 17 (2015) deals

Flexible desktop mode Excellent large screen Still quite expensive Slightly bottlenecked Amplifier performance

The Alienware 17 is one of those few outrageously priced gaming laptops that’s actually worth it. The notebook is a fully capable gaming machine on its own, but with the added power of desktop graphics through the GPU Amplifier it can play almost any game on Ultra settings.If you’re looking for something smaller, the Alienware 13 also works with the optional GPU box.

best gaming laptop

6. MSI GS60 Ghost Pro

The best thin-and-light gaming laptop

CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7 6700HQ | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 16GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 eDP Wide View Angle | Storage: 128GB SSD; 1TB HDD | Connectivity: Killer N1525 Combo (2 x 2 AC) Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: FHD webcam | Weight: 4.2 pounds | Dimensions: 15.35 x 10.47 x 0.78 inches (W x D x H)

See more MSI GS60 Ghost Pro deals

Performance pusher Stupendous keyboard Fleeting battery life A bit expensive

High on mature styling and light on weight, the MSI GS60 Ghost Pro is one of the thinnest gaming laptops you can buy. Don’t think this svelte machine has sacrificed performance for the sake of cutting weight. It still comes packed with a high-end Intel Skylake processor and graphics card to make it a one of the strongest platforms we’ve ever tested. Just make sure to stick with a 1080p resolution and medium to high visual settings.

Best Gaming Laptops

7. Aorus X7 Pro-Sync

Fully-loaded machine with everything you’ll ever need

CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-4870HQ | Graphics: 2 x Nvidia GTX 970M SLI + Intel Iris Pro Graphics 5200 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 17.3-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 Wide Viewing Angle G-Sync LCD | Storage: 512GB SSD | Connectivity: Wireless LAN: 802.11ac + Bluetooth 4.0 | Camera: 1MP HD camera | Weight: 6.6 pounds | Dimensions: 16.85 x 12 x 0.9 inches

See more Aorus X7 Pro-Sync deals

Thin and fully-loaded Record breaking performance Hard to click trackpad Tornado-producing fans

The Aorus X7 Pro-Sync is a 17.3-inch gaming laptop that packs a ton into thin body. With no less than two graphics cards and a heady processor too, the X7 is overflowing with performance. What’s more, thanks to some newly added Nvidia display technology, gamers can be confident they’re getting the highest frame rates without any bothersome jitter and tearing issues. In the future, this Aorus X7 will come packing Nvidia’s desktop graphics for even more performance.

best gaming laptop

8. HP Omen

A most sophisticated and attractive gaming laptop

CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-4720HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M (4GB GDDR5 RAM), Intel HD Graphics 4600 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1920 x 1080 Full HD WLED-backlit IPS touchscreen | Storage: 512GB SSD | Connectivity: Intel 802.11ac WLAN and Bluetooth | Camera: HP TrueVision Full HD WVA Webcam with Dual Digital Microphone | Weight: 4.68 pounds | Dimensions: 15.07 x 9.67 x 0.78 inches

See more HP Omen deals

Bold, unique design Sublime screen Pricey compared to competition Lacking screen brightness

If you want a machine that doesn’t follow the crowd with glowing alien heads and flaming decals, the HP Omen has a style unto its own. Steeply tapered edges give way to a plenty of lights and other little details to make this one of the industry’s most sophisticated and attractive gaming laptops. Beyond looks, the HP Omen packs enough processing brains to handle anything from everyday task to hardcore PC gaming. As a mid-range system, it straddles the line of excellent power efficiency while still offering enough performance to handle the latest games.

Best gaming laptops

9. Acer Predator 15

The ultimate over-the-top gaming laptop

CPU: 2.6GHz Intel Core i7-6700HQ | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 980M (4GB GDDR5 RAM), Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 32GB DDR4 | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 Active Matrix TFT Color LCD | Storage: 512GB SSD, 1TB HDD | Connectivity: Killer Wireless-AC 1535 , Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth 4.2 | Camera: Front-facing 1,280 x 720 webcam | Weight: 7.5 pounds | Dimensions: 15.4 x 11.8 x 1.5 inches

See more Acer Predator 15 deals

Gorgeous screen Surprising battery life Heavy Loud

The Acer Predator 15 is a monster of a gaming laptop in both presence and performance. While most gaming notebooks have become thinner and lighter, this 15-inch rig buck the trend, opting to pack in some of the best graphics and CPU parts on the market today. Thanks to an modular DVD drive bay, users can choose between equipping this gaming notebook with either an optical drive or an extra fan for extra cooling.

Best gaming laptops

10. Origin EON17-X

Desktop performance in a 17-inch gaming laptop

CPU: 4.0GHz Intel Core i7-6700K | Graphics: Nvidia GTX 980M (8GB GDDR5 RAM), Intel HD Graphics 530 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 17-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 IPS matte display with G-SYNC | Storage: 250GB SSD, 1TB hybrid-hard drive | Connectivity: Killer Wireless AC 1535 dual band + Bluetooth | Camera: 2MP webcam | Weight: 8.6 pounds | Dimensions: 16.46 x 11.1 x 1.52 inches

See more Origin EON17-X deals

Top-end performance Attractive display and speakers Power hungry Big price tag

The Origin EON17-X is a true desktop replacement packing desktop processor. As the EON-15-X’s bigger brother this 17-inch notebook comes outfitted with a more spacious display and an even better sounding set of speakers plus an additional subwoofer. Equipped with a top-end Skylake processor you won’t find many other mobile rigs or even desktops that can offer the same level of performance. That said, Origin has arguably made the most powerful portable gaming desktop by outfitting its EON17-SLX with a desktop Skylake processor and Nvidia GTX 980.


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  1. Reply Dr. Dave Goodwin February 22, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    Dont think you realise how powerful the new laptop gpus are. Some of these can run crysis 3 ultra on 40 fps easy.
    You qont get a desktop anywhere near $800 dollar that can do that. Maybe double it.

  2. Reply Dr. Porter Cassin MD February 22, 2016 at 11:55 pm

    What are you a Hobbit? 10.5 too much for your hairy feet to carry?

  3. Reply Haylie Rau February 23, 2016 at 12:08 am

    What about Eurocom? They make incredible portable workstations for engineers and a couple of 3d design laptops that have two video cards. One for everyday and one for serious work along with the added cooling fans and huge power. They also have a used list on their site which what I always look at. Some really good deals on machines without OS's. (Optional)

  4. Reply Winona Eichmann February 23, 2016 at 1:03 am

    Alienware 18 , MSI CUK MSI GT80 and ASUS G751JY are the best!
    Just Google "OfmeNet gaming laptops" You will find great list.

  5. Reply Prof. Rasheed Fisher I February 23, 2016 at 2:49 am

    I think Intel's ultrabook standard killed the gaming laptops as much as anything. Super-thin lacky performance ultrabooks are separated to their own area but get all the attention in retail. Companies once involved with gaming/high end desktop replacement laptops (often nailed it – Samsung, Sony) know nowadays full size laptops get stuck in a dark corner and have no chance at volume sales. These companies have either left the full size/performance segment behind or exited that segment altogether. Lenovo has veered toward "chineese cheap looking plastic crap" I don't like any of their stuff lately. Lenovo also seems abhorrent to using better quality, bright LCD panels (this is nothing new). This leaves the smaller "niche" manufacturers that never got huge numbers before **because** they just couldn't (lack engineering re$ources) or wouldn't (marketed to 15 year olds) nail in a good looking design with the right combination of hardware that makes us want to buy. I know what I want: Quality-look-form of the Samsung 680/880s with updated hardware and that bright beautiful touchscreen from the Sony Flip 15s (or the gorgeous display from the Sam 680 with a few extra LEDs to get that glossy screen a little brighter outside), yes it should flip into tablet mode **exactly** like the flip 15s..Sony nailed that one. The touchscreen assembly Sony used is actually made by LG, and it's really not expensive (unless you're a corporate CEO*accountant*caugh* absolutely determined to be cheap). Were buying high powered gaming/desktop replacements when not running games damn it I want a touchscreen, and I want to be able to sit near a window at Starbucks, and for $2000+ it better not look gawd awful compared to a $800 MacBook snoot in the next seat over. Macbooks are notoriously cheap and plastic (do they even use screws anymore or is the whole thing slapped together with elmers?) it's not difficult to make something that looks inherently nicer, especially closeup. Again: I blame Intel. They decided to act like a monopoly and dictate what the market is supposed to want by strict design specifications and marketing tactics (effectively punishing everything else) instead of just letting the market remain mixed and diverse. Intel is cutting their own throats in the long run. As ultrabook designs fall in price they'll need to revert back to "old faithful" HPC high margin chip sales. The problem with that is, we are 1 by 1 souring on the idea of a large stationary desktop rigs. The natural evolution is to high powered laptops which Intel seems determined to kill off if even unintentionally.

  6. Reply Dr. Ole Haley DVM February 23, 2016 at 6:11 am

    The only one that doesn't look like a concrete slab, even if it weighs more like one (irrelevant to me). I wish Asus didn't do away with the G750 design, it's the best looking laptop I've ever seen. As a matter of fact, it's the only one that is flawless, while there is a very few others that look even decent.

  7. Reply Seth Nitzsche V February 23, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Confused AF lol. Can never build a PC so I just need a laptop where it can run games smoothly and not heat up. DO I need to buy a cooler as well? Or just put the laptop on top of two books?

  8. Reply Dr. Hector Morissette February 23, 2016 at 7:03 am

    How's the UX303LB
    I'm likely gonna get that, any advice before the plunge?

  9. Reply Prof. Jettie Stiedemann February 23, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Ummmm….. This article *says* it was posted 1/24/2016, but it has comments from *a year ago*!!?? AND the specs are 4th Gen i7 CPUs ?! (except the recently added HP).

    I'm not against re-using articles but at least update the specs?

    My specs for gaming/intensive 3D/GIS work are:
    – i7 6th gen (don't need OC-able)
    – 17" screen
    – GTX 970M/980M
    – 16GB RAM

    I'm looking at these:
    ASUS ROG G752:
    MSI Apache:

  10. Reply Gertrude Goodwin February 23, 2016 at 7:59 am

    yeah but 10.5 pounds? imagine being a college student and having that thing in a bag, + a binder full of paper and docs, and 3-4+ textbooks. you'd be hauling 50lb bag around like a construction worker moving cement bags by hand…..

  11. Reply Prof. Cooper Kuhlman February 23, 2016 at 8:00 am

    all Intel too rich for my blood I prefer AMD

  12. Reply Prof. Claude Cormier February 23, 2016 at 8:30 am

    I have the GT70. I'm not a huge gamer, but I've been impressed with it so far. It's also my first MSI product and I have to say, I'll definitely use them again.

  13. Reply Kasandra Runolfsson February 23, 2016 at 10:09 am

    This did not answer the question: If you could chose one laptop without thinking on the pricetag, just thinking on performance, what would you chose? What is the best laptop for gaming!?

  14. Reply Miss Jennie Brown MD February 23, 2016 at 10:32 am

    This FTW the GT72 really bangs the buck, 1200€ for the 6gb 970 version, add +50€ for a SSD and you wont even touch a desktop pc for the same price.

  15. Reply Vicenta Fritsch February 23, 2016 at 11:33 am

    get a computer with a small case

  16. Reply Dr. Branson Sipes February 23, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    I really don't get why the companies that manufacturer gaming laptops seem to have completely given up actually designing them.

    If I'm going to spend that kind of money, I want it to look as good as it performs, yet all of the above are cheap looking plasticy things.

    Even Alienware have ditched their older metal designs in favour for cheap plastic casings, and it's not even as if their's a weight improvement with that choice. My old metal Alienware M17r3 is only marginally heavier, and marginally thicker, than the current crop.

  17. Reply Alize Gibson February 23, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    Just watch your power jack. They heat up and smoke lol. The engineer who designed the power circuitry needs to be demoted to bathroom janitor.

  18. Reply Rod Bednar February 23, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    It's a gaming laptop, not a notebook.

  19. Reply Diana Shanahan February 23, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    HAH 2k+ for a crappy gaming device? i could spend 800$ to get a maxed computer. Laptops are weak for gaming. better for running minesweeper on min settings

  20. Reply Chaya Hauck February 23, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    I hvnt use that yet.. still looking for the perfect one.. but new lines of alienware, asus, acer gaming laptops are released. U cn check them too.

  21. Reply Dusty Schamberger IV February 23, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Why is Asus not on this list but HP is, and at that qualified as a gaming laptop to be at #4????? lmfao!!! Well whoever wrote this you can take your HP gaming laptop lmfao!!! I'll be on my Asus G752 thank you very much!! Obviously this article is just based on a persons choice of laptops in order of what they'd use and not so much in knowledge.

  22. Reply Omer Jacobi February 24, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Find great deals on laptop & notebook PCs. Check out top sites offering attractive discounts on top laptop brands only at >>>>> BestTopRatedLaptops,com

  23. Reply Jarret Hoeger February 24, 2016 at 1:15 am

    What a suprise you completely ignored 90% of my comment and just replied with something stupid…..what are they teaching kids these days…

  24. Reply Orlando Prohaska February 24, 2016 at 4:20 am

    obliviously, not teaching them how to read…

    love the profile pic….

  25. Reply Loy Block February 24, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Number 3 the MSI GT80 Titan is by far the most powerful, dual 980m's hit similar framerates as a Single Titan X gpu. Also has a mechanical k/b which seals the deal gaming wise.

    Easily the most powerful gaming laptop in the world.

    The fact that whoever wrote this, says "I'd love to see what it could do with a desktop GTX980" is clueless. 2x 980m destroy a single desktop 980 by a long way. The writer is just lazy a quick google search would have shown he is wrong.

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